Between June 23rd and July 6th 2015 Johan Engdahl, Jonas Lundqvist and Ilia Slonski will conduct a bicycle trip between the famous Globe Clock at shopping mall Ringen in Stockholm, Sweden and the famous Laima Clock in Riga, Latvia (even if Ilia will join the company in Kaliningrad, due to reasons).
The common denominator for the members of the association “Cykelsällskapet Lejonet & Gripen” (Swedish for The Bicycle Company “The Lion & The Griffin”) is the will to bike really really far on crappy bikes and spending time in company of good friends, in unexpected locations. Nowadays the crappy bikes have been replaced by shiny race bikez, but the social aspect remains. Will we ride on electric bicycles in 2017? Those who read on will know…
Long-distance bicycling is a long-standing tradition in Cykelsällskapet Lejonet & Gripen (where some members are active and some are… inactive.) Historical trips was conducted round the Swedish lake Vänern, between Stockholm-Hultsfred Rock Festival and Stockholm-Eskilstuna-Stockholm before all this was conceptualised and became “a thing”.
In 2006 we biked the distance Stockholm-Strängnäs-Örebro-Kristinehamn-Karlstad-Säffle-Mellerud-Uddevalla-Fiskebäckskil-Hisingen-Göteborg-Varberg-Halmstad-Helsingborg-Malmö/Copenhagen. In popular speech this legendary trip is called Stockholm-Köpenhamn (STO-CPH).
In 2009 it was time for the distance St Eriksplan (Stockholm)-Värtahamnen-Åbo-Salo-Esbo-Helsingfors-Borgå-Hamina-Viborg-Zelenogorsk-St Petersburg, more known as St Eriksplan-St Petersburg.
In 2011 the trip was branded Malmö-München which meant that the bicycle company took the ferry from Malmö, Sweden to Travemünde, Germany and then biked from Lübeck via Lüneburg-Uelzen-Bockenem-Göttingen-am Silbersee-Frankfurt-Crailsheim-Nördlingen-Donauwörth-Dachau to finally land in München (Munich).
In 2013 the trip “London-Lowlands” went with bike to Stockholm Arlanda Airport via flight to London Heathrow (England) and from there with bike to Wales’ north west coast (Holyhead), ferry to Dublin (Ireland), bike to Belfast (Northern Ireland), ferry to Cairnryan (Scotland), bike to Glasgow (Scotland) and finally to the goal in Edinburgh.
With strengthening effects for both mind and body the company members love to hit the road with very light baggage, with the rules that we always sleep in a hostel or hotel (or rather, “never in tents” ) , and almost always buy ready-made food (except if we want to bake croissants in the microwave in the hotel room). The trips are characterised by everyday misery in every curve uphill, but consists mostly of enjoyment. We cycle about 10 hours a day, but always ensure that we consume at least one beer (and rather often four beers) before bedtime . As the per the French: C’est les vacances.